Children are the joy of life, spreading hope and love among the family. They are angels on earth, with their innocent eyes and beautiful, positive energy to start a new day. They make our day bright with hope and optimism. They push us to work hard to provide a better future for them, and we see them grow day after day before our eyes. This month, November, while the world celebrates World Children’s Day, there are children in Palestine whose lives have been lost, children whose families have been lost and who do not know what is happening around them or why.
The ongoing crimes of this war have made children vulnerable, who now know the taste of pain and the meaning of loss. They have experienced the loss of family, school, and friends, the loss of the hope surrounding them, and the lack of feeling safe. A child needs safety and feels a sense of security when they are with their parents and family, but when the parents are lost, their eyes portray the fear of a future that awaits without their families.
Every child in the world has the right to life, healthcare, water, food, a healthy environment, growth, protection from all forms of violence, safe shelter, and access to education, but in Palestine, all of these rights have become non-existent, especially during this war on Gaza where the child does not feel any form of safety. The children now know what bombing is and the sound of artillery and planes. They are writing their names on their limbs so rescue workers can recognize them if their house is bombed. All of this is happening in Palestine.
After a pause in the incessant bombing, there are still unidentified children who do not know where their families are and families who do not know where their children are. This war destroyed all innocent childhood dreams, destroyed their future and their hopes for the future. This war erased entire family lineages from the civil records. In this war, there is a mother whose tears dried up from the intensity of the pain. This mother returned home, despite the bombing and destruction, to search for her children under the rubble of her demolished house. A sad father is searching the hospital corridors for his children. These stories break our hearts, stories of suffering, fleeing their homes with their families in search of safety, leaving behind their friends, their schools, and their dreams and now live in a tent that is being blown away by the winter winds.
The cold rains have come, and the children have nothing to wear to avoid the cold of winter. They fled from their home without carrying anything with them. Now that winter has arrived and the cold has begun, there are no clothes and very little food available. There is no medicine or supplies for the children who need treatment. These children have no fault and do not know the meaning of war.
Let us pray for every child who is hungry, and every family that has been abandoned. Let us pray for the children who lost their families and were left searching for their relatives. Let us pray for every child; the child who cannot find protection from the cold of winter and cannot find food; the child who cannot find the toy that he lost under the rubble; the child who has lost an animal that he cared for. We pray for safety and an end to the killing. Let us pray for all the victims of war and for an end to war and destruction.